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General News of Sunday, 25 July 2010

Source: GNA

Wa Polytechnic manufactures solar lamps

Tampaala, (U/W), July 25, GNA - Three deprived communities in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region are currently enjoying solar electricity manufactured by students of the Wa Polytechnic with support from Cooper Union of the United States (US).

Members of the three communities; Tampaala, Baazing and Nambeg, were elated when the rechargeable solar lamps were introduced to them at the weekend.

The first consignment made up of 80 lamps would be given out to individuals at a cost of GH¢5.00 per one and a rechargeable fee of GH¢1.00 each time the battery went down.

Launching the project dubbed 93Socialite Project," Mr Bernard K. Puozuing, Jirapa District Chief Executive (DCE), commended the tutors and students for their sense of innovation.

He commended Cooper Union for supporting the Polytechnic to carry out the project, saying; 93This is a clear manifestation of the in-depth knowledge and abilities of Polytechnic graduates".

The DCE said the idea behind the establishment of polytechnics was for them to use technology to provide technical and practical solutions for the development of society.

He said government would not relent in its efforts to properly equip existing polytechnics and would add new ones for them to produce the required human resource to help develop the country.

Mr Puozuing advised the beneficiary communities to handle the lamps with care to give them a longer lifespan and assured them that government was working hard to connect many communities in the district to the national grid.

Mr David Berger, Cooper Union Representative, giving the history of the project, said it was an initiative of Professor Toby Cumberbatch, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Cooper Union in the US.

He said Professor Cumberbatch, who had his basic education in the Jirapa District about 50 years ago, identified electricity as one of the important things the people needed to improve on their living conditions, hence his decision to initiate the 93Socialite Project".

Mr Emmanuel Baganiah, Vice Rector of Wa Polytechnic, advised the people to take the lamps as their own and put them to good use to motivate the producers to bring more.

Mr Charles Ntiamoah Yeboah, Project Coordinator and a lecturer at the Polytechnic, urged Cooper Union to continue to give them the support for them to produce more for many of the communities in the region without electricity.

He said a rechargeable station had been set up in the community and three young men would be trained to recharge the batteries of the lamps whenever they run low.